Thursday, July 25, 2013


Feast of St. James, Apostle

1ST READING - 2 Corinthians 4:7-15

P S A L M - Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
R: Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
When the Lord brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing. (R) Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad indeed. (R) Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the torrents in the southern desert. Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. (R) Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves. (R)

GOSPEL - Matthew 20:20-28

What does it mean to be an earthen vessel? The idea of the earthen vessel connotes fragility, one that’s easily broken and, thus, must be cared for well. This is more so because the treasure we carry within ourselves is the life and death of Christ — the work of salvation.

       Paul has a very particular perspective about this. Being a persecutor of the Church (read: hater of Christ) for a number of years and then converted after the appearance of Christ to him on the road to Damascus, Paul knows the fragility of the process of salvation. Yes, it is governed by the power of God, but because we have free will, we can stop it whenever we want to. And so, herein lies the essence of its fragility — we can accept or reject God’s offer of salvation if we want to. From a purely logical point of view, this would seem to be a crazy choice, yet human beings are known for making illogical decisions. It is up to each person to welcome Christ into the earthen vessels of their lives and to continue to affirm this decision as long as there is still work to do in making us disciples of Jesus.

       As we reflect upon the image used by St. Paul, let us realize howtruly brittle our faith is and how easily sin can undo the work of God in an instant. Of course, God can restore anything that has been lost with repentance, but this knowledge should not cause us to become complacent and continue sinning. We have to remain vigilant to the work and tactics of the enemy so that we can continue to stay on the right path that leads to salvation. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you realize how fragile your life of faith is in terms of temptation? How well do you guard your life of faith?
Jesus, thank You for Your generosity in giving me the gift of salvation; help me to remain faithful to it all the days of my life.

St. James, Apostle, pray for us.
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